A group of people finds themselves sitting in the gutter together outside The Old 218 Tap Bar in Hills Iowa.
- An orphan engineering savant, Joshua Eisen-Kriegsman
- A sexy pilot on the run from The Syndicate, Raoul Vega
- A former space miner, Blake
- An out of work lawyer with gambling debts, Sandra Power
- A mute GLiX with amnesia, Twitch, and
- A hacker with OCP implants preventing him from accessing technology, Lewis Skolnick
This gutter is where local farmers have been known to pick up day laborers. Today is no different. A farmer pulls up in a truck and introduces himself as Art McDonald. He offers the group work for the day and meals. The group agreed and piled into the truck. As they drove out to the farm the group shared their individual stories with each other.
The farm was huge and sprawling. But like most places on earth, suffering from the current conditions. Not much light makes it through the smog clouds. The smog chokes out a lot of animals. The heat does nobody any good. There are water sources on the farm, but they appear brakish. The cows appear weak and sickly.
When the arrived on the farm, a meal was ready and laid out for them. Art’s daughter Fleur had laid out a meal for everyone. The group was impressed at their generosity. Art had a more practical reason in mind, can’t get a days work on an empty stomach.
As they ate Sandra Power remembered that women had been going missing at the Old 218 Tap Bar. She questioned Art and Fleur about it. They both shrugged it off as a town problem. Nothing like that had ever happened on the farm.
Fleur discussed and handed out the jobs for the day.
*Joshua Eisen-Kriegsman stated he was going to fix everything and wandered off with paper and pencils
*Blake offered to look at the cows
*Raoul Vega was given the special job of “helping” Fleur McDonald clean the farmhouse
*the rest were given general labor, turning fields, fixing fences, harvesting meager crops
The group met back up for supper. In time to hear Art and Fleur aruging. It seemed Fleur wanted to bring a Maru to the farm to fix things. She even knew a Maru who was willing to help. But Art was concerned, they didn’t have the money to pursue bring a Maru legally, and any help a Maru could offer wouldn’t be legal either.
At supper humming to herself, Fleur had Lunar Radio playing on a radio.
*Joshua Eisen-Kriegsman had written a volume on potential farm improvements, Art glossed over it, but Fleur McDonald read it in detail, impressed with his ideas.
*Blake had learned that the cattle were both malnourished and suffering from COPD.
*Lewis Skolnick seemed to zone out when the radio played Burning Down The House followed by Putting on The Ritz
Raoul went back to the house to “help” Fleur with the dishes as the rest of the group discussed their options. Lewis offered that he had a job offer from the Shadowbroker he needed help with. Lewis indicated that he needed to get to the Ritz-Carlton in NY, NY.
The group took a ride back to the Old 218 Tap Bar, where Joshua helped steal a Mustang and a Touareg. The party used the cars to get them to the edge of New York City. They had to leave the cars when debris made the roads impassable. New York had been heavily damaged in the war with the AIs. Many building were knocked over. The group even came across the remains of a mechanized Statue of Liberty. Nobody in the group could remember ever having heard of that particular aspect, or which side had done it.
The group made their way on foot to the Ritz-Carlton. They found that the Ritz-Carlton had been heavily fortified. Turrets and guns could be seen through most street facing windows. When the party approached they were told that they could have entry if they brought a tribute to the Rat King the leader of the New York Sewer Rats. When asked about tributes, the door guard explained that most people offered food, medicine, or NY souvenirs as tribute.
The group remembered that they had passed an abandoned hospital on their way into town. The group doubled back to the hospital, and after some searching found a drug dispensary that hadn’t been broken open already. The group scourenged up some batteries and got the machine long enough to hack it to dispence everything left in it. Blake identified as many pills as he could, the most valuable of which being antibiotics, narcotics, and viagra.
The party returned to the Ritz-Carlton and gave the drugs as tribute, with Raoul taking a small portion for himself. The New York Sewer Rats accepted their tribute and allowed the group enterance. Raoul found two gunners and went to “check out the rooms”.
Sandra noticed a lone key on the key-board behind the front desk, to room 1806. The group went up to search. A search of the room, found only an active Ethernet jack. Joshua adapted the jack to interface to Glitch’s neural interface. He discovered a network share with a pst file full of tawdry emails. Lewis pulled a CD out of his satchel, he offered that that would decode the message.
Joshua went back to the front desk and took the computer from reception. The computer itself was intact but the monitor had been smashed. He brought it back upstairs and interfaced it to Twitch and the network jack. The CD in the drive of the computer Twitch decoded the file. It was a contract.
We have received intelligence that SpaceX has been working with the Terran-Maru Science Enclave on projects Ark and Doomsday. We require copies of all data pertaining to these projects. As always the information is worth more if the company does not discover that they’ve been hacked.
Our intelligence shows that the projects are being worked on at the SpaceX offices in California. Delivery of information is to this drop location. Upon delivery payment will made to your account.
$300k for information
$700k for SpaceX not knowing that the files have been stolen
You may retain copies of information for personal use or insurance. However, further dissemination of the information will result in penalty, no further work, and turn over to authorities.
Twitch copied the contract onto the hard drive of the PC and the party removed the hard drive.
The group decided to stock up before heading to California. The party found some real weapons on display in a house of wax, some food in a supermarket. Raided some hardware stores and found crossbows and compound bows as well as some more basic supplies. Raided apartments for canned goods and electronics. In the parking lot of the supermarket they found an abandoned NY City Bus which they retrofitted for their purposes and headed off across country in it.
Arriving in California a week later, after having siphoned a lot of diesel from abandoned vehicles and gas stations.